Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 26 (Issue #545)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

(If this column looks askew in your email, click here for an online version.)

Derby Day is mandatory Jackpot payout day

Five nights of live racing to go until a possible $1 million in wagering

If you see ASD CEO Darren Dunn walking around with his fingers crossed, this is why: If the Jackpot Hi 5 now worth $255,283 isn’t won in one of the upcoming five race nights, wagering at the Downs could reach $1 million on Derby Day Monday, Aug. 1, a day the Downs has designated as Mandatory Jackpot Payout Day. It would be the Downs’ biggest day ever in wagering.

Finger-crossing and holding one’s breath are the result of bleak memories of Gulfstream’s Rainbow 6 reaching $6 million but being won the day before mandatory payout day. The Florida track lost out on a potential $20 million in wagering.

Derby Day on holiday Monday is not only the biggest race day of the year at the Downs, it’s also a non-holiday in the U.S. That’s important because it means “A” tracks are not racing in the U.S., making the Downs’ mandatory payout the most important wagering event of the afternoon.

The breath-holding countdown begins tonight . . .
• Tonight – Will Jackpot go?
• This Friday night – Will Jackpot go?
• This Saturday night -- Will Jackpot go?
• Saturday night, July 30 – Will Jackpot go?
• Sunday night, July 31 – Will Jackpot go?
– Parade to post 1:15 p.m.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Nine horses in tonight's Jackpot Hi 5 with a carryover of $255,283
  • Dink of the Year comes to the Downs
  • Bennett is a step closer to winning the stakes he said he would win
  • Whitehall gets his first four-bagger as ASD jock
  • What were the biggest payouts in ASD's past? Read Bob's blog

Dennis Lloyd
Still the one to beat

$166 IS STILL THE PARLAY TO BEAT TO EARN MEXICAN VACATION: Sitting poolside near the ocean at a 5-star hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico, in January remains, at this point, as close as parlaying $5 to a bigger amount than $166 which is the highest parlay so far, achieved by retired fireman Dennis Lloyd. During the past week there were some great opportunities. Remember, you can start as many parlays as you like—just so long as you parlay three races in a row. Congrats to last week’s daily prize winners ($20 in wagering vouchers, three months of the Sun):
July 13 – Bill Siwak $68.25 • July 15 – Sarah McCulloch $129.60 • July 16 – Bill Siwak $16.80
QX104 – Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive


Want the highlights for the next 10 days? Go here.
Want to know what tracks are racing in July? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers at all tracks? See them here.
Want to know live race dates? Click here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jays - Bombers

Next live race days:
Tonight, Friday & Saturday - parade to post 7:15 p.m.

After every live race card: Crazy Hour and free VLT tournaments. Beer, wine, shots $2.95 and half-price appetizers.

REMEMBER, TODAY IS WICKED WEDNESDAY! Which means a delicious rib special for $9.95, Caesar drinks for $5.50, draws BETWEEN EVERY RACE to spin to win up to $50 in wagering vouchers and double the chances (20) to win $20 in free VLT spins after the races.

At the Downs July 30 & 31

DO YOU HAVE BEST SEATS TO WATCH THE MOUNTIES? It costs nothing to watch the RCMP Musical Ride on the tarmac during the races on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 (parade to post both nights at 7:15 p.m.) but the view from the third-floor grandstand is so much more stunning (as I found out when they were at the Downs in 2012) that you’ll do yourself a big favour by buying $10 tickets to sit in those seats. And, for $50, you get a reserved box for four. Tickets available at Guest Services and the general office.

You named me what?

Dink of the Year comes to the Downs

First, let’s get this straight: Dink of the Year is the name of a 3-year-old filly. After racing recently at Prairie Meadows, she was purchased by ASD horse owners Elton Dickey and Lori Mann.

“When I heard the name,” Mann said in an interview, “I immediately told the owner: ‘We’ll buy her.’”

Track announcer Kirt Contois reportedly “can’t wait” until the filly is entered to race. Sounds like another “Hoof Hearted” except you have to say Hoof Hearted over and over again before you realize what you’re saying.

This horse’s name is right out there for all to hear and Mann said she is “shocked” the Jockey Club which registers North American horse names allowed it to be used.

And how did the filly come to be named Dink of the Year? Mann said the horse’s owner and vet were examining the horse on the farm in Iowa where she was born and the filly kicked both of them at the same time, causing them to exclaim: “What a dink!”

And it stuck.

Dink broke her maiden in a $15,000 claimer at Prairie Meadows in May.


(19 stakes gone, 16 remain. See list here)

About a Girl takes Jack Hardy


BENNETT'S "WE'RE GOING TO WIN OAKS" A STEP CLOSER: Teenaged trainer Cole Bennett’s prediction at the beginning of the season that his About a Girl would win the Manitoba Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Derby Day took on more credibility last Wednesday after she wired the field in the Jack Hardy Stakes, the final prep race for the Oaks, and paid $8.80.

Atanygivenmoment cruises in Debutante

WINNER OF DEBUTANTE A HUGE OVERLAY: Atanygivenmoment , a debuting Kentucky-bred filly trained by Ardell Sayler, paying $27.10? What an overlay in last Wednesday’s Debutante Stakes for 2-year-olds! Sayler’s other two horses, a Florida-bred and a Kentucky-bred, finished third and fourth respectively at 6/1 (Hot and Wild and Me First). Smart Sense, bred in Manitoba by Cam Ziprick and Arnason Farms and trained by Shelley Brown, was second at 5/1.

Because of his past success in stakes races for 2 and 3-year-old fillies, trainer Charlie Smith’s Texas-bred Dark Desert Wine from Canterbury was the 6/5 favourite. She was close early but faded to sixth. Two other horses in the race were bred in Manitoba and two in Alberta.

Lesson: Horses bred in prominent breeding states (Kentucky, Florida, California, New York) have an edge in their debut races over horses bred elsewhere.

EXCITING FINISH IN R.C. ANDERSON: Jockey Antonio Whitehall just got up with Red Jet Lightning ($4.50) to beat Richard Mairs and Quest Essential (9/2) by a nose in the R.C. Anderson Stakes Saturday for 3-year-old Manitoba-bred fillies.


WILL GIRL BOSS CONTINUE HER WINNING MARCH TO MATRON? Ardell Sayler’s Girl Boss remains the horse to beat in the Winnipeg Sun Stakes Saturday, the second-last race in the lead up to the Manitoba Matron on Sept. 9. That’s the race that will determine the best older female on the grounds. Girl Boss comes off wins in the La Verendrye and Canada Day stakes.

Hottest jock:
Antonio Whitehall (6 wins)
Hottest trainer: Elton Dickey (3 wins)
Biggest longshot: King River Laddy $45.80 (5th Fri)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $456 (5th Wed)


DICKEY DEADHEATS WITH DICKEY: Dead heats happen but usually not horses from the same trainer. Elton Dickey’s Kodiak’s Pride (2/1) and Quantum Mechanics (8/1) deadheated in Friday’s fourth race, producing a quinella of $42.80, a 1-5 exactor of $29.60 and a 5-1 exactor of $99.10. Christopher Husbands rode Kodiak’s Pride and Rohan Singh was on Quantum Mechanics.

DUNN SUBS FOR SIDELINED CONTOIS: It was like old times at the Downs Friday and Saturday as CEO Darren Dunn stepped in as track announcer for Kirt Contois who was sidelined with a throat infection. At first, fans weren’t quite sure what they were hearing and looked at each other quizzically. Dunn even added a new line or two during his calling that he hadn’t used when he had been the regular announcer.

Antonio Whitehall
Rides four winners Saturday

WHITEHALL'S FOUR-BAGGER FIRST SINCE APPRENTICESHIP: Antonio Whitehall was all smiles Saturday, not just for winning the R.C. Anderson Stakes for 3-year-old Manitoba-bred fillies on Red Jet Lightning ($4.50) but for logging his fourth win on the card. The last time he did that? In 2012, he said, when he was the leading apprentice rider in Barbados. Congrats, Antonio! He’s four wins shy of leading jockey Chris Husbands who has 38 wins.

RECORD PICK-4 POOL: A double carryover in ASD’s pick-4 produced a record $55,565 in bets into last Wednesday’s pool. The carryover going into Wednesday had been $20,606. A $1 ticket paid $4,492 after these horses won:
• Atanygivenmoment
• Taxi Joe
• About a Girl $8.80
• Nevada Time

WHITHER ARLINGTON? One has to wonder about the future of Arlington Park in the face of continued declines in handle—17 per cent since last year and 60 per cent since 2009. The decline started with the installation of Polytrack and it didn’t help that family-owned Hawthorne race track across town in Chicago touted the advantage of their dirt track over Poly. The most successful synthetic track is Woodbine and that is because, unlike Arlington, Woodbine has a nearly year-long meet and bettors follow the same horses on the same surface, with few horses coming from other tracks.

The other three synthetic North American tracks are Golden Gate, Presque Isle and Turfway. After switching from a synthetic track to dirt, Keeneland was awarded last fall’s Breeders’ Cup and Del Mar, which also returned to dirt, will hold this fall’s Breeders’ Cup races.

Al Ilott and Kaycee Hunt

AL'S OTHER PASSION: When veteran horseplayer Al Ilott, the manager of an aircraft fuelling division of an international company, isn’t being passionate about racing, he’s lauding the exceptional talent of Kaycee Hunt, 18, athlete of the year at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate, whom he is helping compete at the World Junior Ultimate Championships in Wroclaw, Poland early next month. (“Ultimate” is a substitute word for "Frisbee” which can’t be used because it’s a registered trademark.)

He said he became hooked on the fortunes of Kaycee—who graduated in June--and her sister, Kassandra, 10—who was recently chosen to be in a TV series--after being asked by their mother, Kim, to pick up Kaycee at a daycare when she was still a toddler. That was a fateful day and I have been very involved with both girls in all aspects of their lives since,” he says. The girls are frequent diners at ASD buffets. Way to go, Al, and a Bigg boost to Kaycee in the championships!

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. Is there a way to watch only graded stakes race replays in HPIbet?
Unfortunately, there is no quick way to watch a graded stakes race replay in HPIbet. At this point, the SEARCH box does not allow you to type in the name of a graded stakes race and then bring up the results page for that race. It only allows you to search for a horse, jockey, driver or trainer. The quickest way to watch a graded stakes race replay in HPIbet is by knowing the date of the race and then going to that track for that date and selecting the Race Results tab and clicking on the red VIDEO REPLAY button (view image here).

There’s another option for watching graded stakes replays as well. Equibase has a nifty product/service called the Racing Yearbook - This provides you with FREE video race replays and race results for every graded stakes race throughout the year and every year going back to 2010 (view image here). There’s even an awesome IPhone App for the Racing Yearbook that you can download in the App Store.

Never miss another graded stakes race again with this tool!

Got a question for Marshall? Email


As the Jackpot Hi 5 pool continues to grow, Bob dusts off the record book and looks at record-setting mutuel payouts from the past here.

NEXT INSIDERS: You’ll receive your next two Insiders on Friday. Next Friday’s Insider will be a Festival of Racing special with details from Thursday’s press conference and post position draw for the Manitoba Derby. The following Friday will be a wrap-up on the big Festival/Derby holiday weekend.

This post parade on the track after last Saturday's sixth race was just "ducky"

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